How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Many Indonesians speak some English. They are also very open to foreigners trying to speak Bahasa Indonesia with them, and will not generally cut you off to speak English instead. You can survive without the language but basic language (such as giving directions to taxis) is useful. - Sep 2020


It is very helpful having at least basic Indonesian. English is not very widespoken, but you can manage with Google Translate and gestures. Indonesian is a pretty simple language and there are lots of good language programs to help you learn. - Feb 2018


You don't need it but it can really help sometimes. - Jun 2015


You need enough to direct a taxi driver and to shop. More if you want to barter. - Jan 2015


The more you know, the easier your life is. You definitely need to learn basic phrases, numbers and taxi directions. - Jan 2013


I received seven months of language training before coming, and it definitely helps. You'd want to at least have taxi vocabulary. - Jun 2012


It is best to know taxi Indonesian, although staff in banks, stores, and hotels all have a surprisingly good level of English. - Jan 2012


I was surprised at how much English was around in places like restaurants and the fancier malls. However, it is not spoken everywhere by everyone. So,for taking taxis, traveling, asking directions, and getting to know people better, I'd recommend making an effort to learn at least some Indonesian. - Jul 2011


Maybe "right," "Left" and "Straight" for taxi directions when you first get here. Otherwise, I live my life in English, which is totally pathetic because Bahasa is so easy. - Jul 2011


Not much, actually. - Dec 2010


Not necessary at all. - Nov 2010


Not much is needed to survive. However, the more Bahasa you speak, the richer your experience will be. Indonesians are grateful and delighted by foreigners making even the most basic efforts to speak their languages. Efforts to speak regional languages (Sundanese, Javanese, Padang) are met with some of the biggest smiles I've ever seen. - Jul 2010


Some very basic. - Mar 2008


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